Hunt, Thomas Hankey (1842-1921)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1896
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1921
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1924

Early years

Thomas was born in 1842 at Hatton, Cheshire to parents William and Hannah. William was a tailor and PM local preacher. Thomas also worked as a tailor before entering the ministry.

Thomas was converted aged 15 and almost immediately his name appeared on the circuit plan. As the ‘boy preacher’, he became very popular in his own and neighbouring circuits. He was recommended for the ministry two years later, but did not actually enter the ministry until he was 19 under the influence of William Antliff.


In his early ministerial days, his obituary records that Thomas had a powerful presence and was very effective in camp meetings. He was a born raconteur and had a great fund of humour.

Thomas was a regular attender at Conference, frequently as a delegate. He was Secretary of Conference in 1892. Thomas was President of Conference in 1903. He attended the Methodist Ecumenical Conference in America in 1891.

Thomas was editor of Primitive Methodist World for 25 years and the Connexional Almanac. He also edited a preacher’s pocket book. He was one of the first to secure a report of the proceedings of Conference in the leading daily papers of London and the provinces.

Thomas was instrumental in Temperance Reform and in Sunday School work. Whilst General Sunday School Secretary, he originated the triennial Sunday School Conference and did much to improve the administration of the annual scripture examinations.

Thomas was Evangelistic Secretary for the Centenary celebration in 1907.


Thomas wrote the following.

Warnings to watchmen on the walls of Zion , 1882

Martin Luther: his life and work: a study for Protestants , 1885

The Primitive Methodist teacher’s pocket book , 1886

The Christian citizen and temperance reform , 1906

Sunday School reform: a problem for the times , 1907

The Primitive Methodist Diary , 1915

The liquor problem and how to solve it

John Wesley: His life and Work


Thomas married Elizabeth Antliff (b1842) in the summer of 1866 at London. Elizabeth was the daughter of William Antliff. Census returns identify four of their five children.

  • William Antliff (b1867)
  • Tom Harold (1869-1918) – a general medical practitioner
  • Gertrude (1872-1938) – married John James Noble, a journalist
  • Arthur Douglas (abt1881-1953) – a doctor

Thomas died on 1 April 1921 at Southport, Lancashire.


  • 1862 Oldham I
  • 1864 Birkenhead
  • 1865 Liverpool III
  • 1866 Bacup
  • 1868 Northwich
  • 1871 Manchester II
  • 1876 Oldham I
  • 1879 Douglas
  • 1881 Haslingden
  • 1883 Leeds III
  • 1886 Darwen
  • 1890 Manchester VI
  • 1892 Gen S S Sec
  • 1897 Halifax II
  • 1900 Bootle
  • 1905 Bolton I
  • 1909 Runcorn
  • 1912 Southport (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1896/723; 1921/849; 1924/754

PM Minutes 1922/265

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p530

W Leary , Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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